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Exploring team sites

From: SharePoint 2010 Getting Started

Video: Exploring team sites

If there's one most common site in SharePoint, it's this one, the Team Site. It's not necessarily the most useful or the most important, but it's one of the most common. One of the reasons for that is when a new Web site is created in SharePoint the default is this one, the Team Site. That doesn't make it special. Something has to be the default. It's this one. That's a little generic, but if you know how to use a Team Site well, you pretty much know how to use all the others.

Exploring team sites

If there's one most common site in SharePoint, it's this one, the Team Site. It's not necessarily the most useful or the most important, but it's one of the most common. One of the reasons for that is when a new Web site is created in SharePoint the default is this one, the Team Site. That doesn't make it special. Something has to be the default. It's this one. That's a little generic, but if you know how to use a Team Site well, you pretty much know how to use all the others.

I have a Team Site here, and it's looking the way it looks pretty much as soon as it's created. It's got some stock images in it, some placeholder content. This is a site template that's available in SharePoint Foundation 2010, and by definition, then, of course, available in all the others as well. The question is well, what is it? Well, it's a site organized around a small team. It's a suggestion. It's not magical. If you didn't ever use a Team Site, you're not doing anything wrong in SharePoint.

From one perspective, you know that you can go out on the Web and buy Web site templates to make some starter sites. It's the same kind of thing. It's a template. You could make one of these for every team in your organization, whether that team is a very formal structure or if it's just an informal one. The way you might want to approach it is this. If you ignored SharePoint, you said I want to build a Web site for my team, and you had to spell out what did that mean, you might say I want a homepage. I would like a place to upload documents.

I'd like a place for a calendar. I'd like a place to put a task list for my team to work on, a place for some news. Well, this is what a SharePoint Team Site does for you. We've seen that the way to see what a site is made of is by using the All Site Content link. If I go here, I can see that what I have are what are Document Libraries. We'll go through these a little later. But what I'm seeing here is a place to put my Shared Documents, a place to put Site Assets, and these could be things like images and logo files.

Probably more importantly, right now, is this Lists section below. We have a place to put announcements, a place for a calendar, a place for links, a place for tasks, a place for team discussion. You may even see pointers to other sites, and what are called Workspaces underneath it. Another way of looking at this content, I'm going to go back to my Home page here, is what are the links that appear on my Quick Launch Bar? Once again, the Quick Launch Bar does not have to show you everything in this site.

It's simply showing you the most common things. I can click the Calendar and go and look at the Calendar here. I can click the Task link and go and look at that. Right now, these are all blank. There's nothing in them. But I'm getting Web pages that show me my Task, or Web pages that show me my Calendar. And they allow me to add entries to it, simply by mousing over one of the days and clicking the Add link that appears. Of course, this is the benefit. We don't have to be a Web developer. We don't have to know HTML.

We don't have to use a special tool. We can start to change this Web site just using the Web browser. But yes, this team site, I'm going to navigate up to the top of it, is kind of generic, and it's kind of dull. That's the point. This is SharePoint. You're meant to change it. You're meant to make the changes that you need to make it more useful for you. Part of the reason for that is SharePoint is expecting that most people who use this site will be contributors, not just readers, but contributors, able to change, to add entries to the calendar, to add a task to the task list, to upload documents to the library.

If you have the right permissions, we could also click the Site Actions menu and say New Page, or New Document Library, or even New Site. As part of this same section, we also have more options which allows us to add all sorts of different things here. The idea is that this is not just editable, but easily editable, so that without significant instruction, I can go to the calendar, I can mouse over Wednesday, I can click Add, I can read the obvious page that appears, that says, okay, I'll put in the Title, a Weekly Meeting. It's from 2-3.

I've got a whole bunch of options to say whether this is all day or make this a repeating event. I'm just going to hit Save. It's very easy to edit. All the other contributors on this Team Site could do the same thing. They could see the changes I made. I can see the changes they made. Going back to the homepage of the site, and I can either click the links that appear in the Browse section of the Ribbon, or I can use my Navigate Up button. I have a link here saying Shared Documents. I also have a link here saying Shared Documents.

Well, what's the difference? Again, if I want to know what's the authoritative part of this site, I could go to view All Site Content where I can see that I do indeed have something called Shared Documents. If I click that link, it takes me to another page. This is what's called a Document Library. It is a place to upload documents, so you can work on them and other people can work on them. You can collaborate on them rather than just keeping them on your own desktop. In this, I can simply add the link to add a document. It gives me an upload ability.

I can even have the option to upload multiple files. But I can click Browse and just find one. I'm going to navigate and find a single document here. I've gotten Meeting notes. That's in a OneNote format. This could be a Word document, Excel spreadsheet. It really doesn't matter. That's now uploaded and part of my Documents Library. Navigating back up to the homepage, I can see that what I just uploaded is being shown on my homepage here. That's because what I'm seeing on the homepage is really a window to the underlying structure of the Web site.

It doesn't have to be. This is customizable. But the homepage is allowing me to see different pieces in the lists and libraries that are on this site. We'll see a little later how to edit the homepage, how to choose what gets shown on it. Perhaps we want this shown; perhaps we don't. Everything is customizable in SharePoint, and everything should be customized in SharePoint. Microsoft is not trying to suggest that their team site is the way you should work. They're just trying to give it to you as a starting point.

Team sites are very common. They're good to learn, as they contain many of the core building blocks of other SharePoint sites. Now while it would be perfectly acceptable to never use a team site, because there's nothing magical or unique about it, most people who use SharePoint are pretty familiar with a team site.

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SharePoint 2010 Getting Started

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